eCommerce businesses

Multilingual Customer Support: Why It Matters for eCommerce Businesses

Multilingual Customer Support: Why It Matters for eCommerce Businesses

You poured your heart and soul into taking your eCommerce brand globally, confident it would thrive and hit a chord with your new target audience. But now, sales are stalling and customers drifting away. What went wrong? 

Chances are you’ve been overlooking a critical piece of your customer experience puzzle —  multilingual customer support. Many overlook how important it is to provide support in the native language of the target customers, considering it a mere cost and failing to grasp its true impact. 

Here’s the thing: the success of your business depends on the quality of the customer experience you provide. And guess what? Customers’ expectations have skyrocketed. More than 60% of them have raised the bar for customer service standards, making it clear that supporting your multilingual customers’ journey is not an option but a necessity for your global success.

In this blog, you’ll learn the significance of providing customer support in your customers’ language and how it contributes to the growth of your eCommerce business. We also examine the key challenges of implementing a multilingual support system and how to navigate them.

So, let’s get started!

Why Multilingual Support is a Must-Have for Your eCommerce Business

The main reason your customers turn to support is to explain difficult issues when shopping or post-purchasing. Trying to do so in a non-native language only compounds frustrations. But speaking their language brings far more advantages than simply avoiding frustrations. 

1. Improving Communication & Fostering Deeper Connections

While eCommerce website translation is crucial, translating digital content alone might not be sufficient. Your customers need more than being able to understand your offerings. They demand assistance and support at every stage of their journey, from pre-purchase to post-sale. 

  • At the pre-purchase stage, supporting your customers through effective communication directly impacts their decision-making. Being there for them to support their inquiries about product specifications, features, availability, or pricing is what informs their decision-making and entices them to take action. 
  • Even during purchase, connecting with them in their mother language streamlines order fulfillment. It shows you care to solve the issues they might encounter along the way while navigating the website, adding products to their cart, or completing the checkout process pushing them forward to completing the purchase. 
  • Your support never stops at the purchase stage as long as you aim at building a base of loyal customers. Even after making the purchase, customers might need assistance with delivery issues or maybe with return or exchange. Turning a blind eye when customers are most vulnerable post-purchase risks damaging your connection with them forever. 


The ONLY common and indispensable factor throughout the entire customer journey is clear communication. Without it, the customer experience is incomplete, with each stage missing a crucial piece.

Still not convinced? Well, let’s look at the facts!

  • Studies show that a minimum of 60% of buyers expect customer service to be in their native language when contacting customer service.
  • Additionally, 75% of customers are more inclined to repurchase from a brand if customer support is in their native tongue. While this inclination is more prominent among those with LEP (limited English proficiency), 60% of individuals who are proficient English readers still prefer their first language.
  • More than 69% of consumers think it is extremely or very important that brands offer an end-to-end customer experience in their native language.

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2. Maximizing Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty

Do you remember the last time you had a bad customer service experience? How did it make you feel about the brand? 

If you’ve been lucky enough to not encounter this, let us tell you what it’s like from a customer standpoint. Simply put, poor customer service means your customers’ needs are not fully addressed, which leaves them feeling less valued and consequently unsatisfied and frustrated. 

Communication barriers in customer support stir the same emotions for your customers. And unfortunately, losing your customers’ satisfaction is the first domino to fall. From there, it’s harder to retain existing customers and attract new ones. You even risk reduced impact in target markets over time.

Supporting your customers with customer services in their native language makes sure you never experience this. It even has the potential to maximize your customers’ satisfaction and foster their loyalty as it demonstrates your respect for inclusivity and insistence on supporting them every step of the way. Here is proof: 

In a recent survey, 70% of respondents reported that they feel more loyal to companies that offer customer support in their native tongue. What’s more, research revealed that after a positive customer service experience:

  • 66% of customers would be more loyal
  • 65% are more willing to recommend the company
  • 48% would spend more money


eCommerce businesses

3. Boosting Customer Retention Rates

Online shoppers expect to have easy and instant access to the information they need in their first language. If this is not what they get, they click away, and you lose them forever. 

29% of businesses that don’t offer multilingual customer support say they’ve lost customers. Also, it’s reported that 1 in 6 shoppers will abandon their purchase due to poor service. Meanwhile, 60% of those who improved customer service quality enjoyed better retention rates. 

But while poor customer experiences can drive your audience away, positive ones can foster a strong emotional connection with your audience. And there is nothing more powerful than establishing a relationship using your first language.

Localization gives you the privilege of speaking your customer’s language, leading to an easy, genuine interaction that pays attention to their cultural sensitivities. It helps you gain their trust and offers them a memorable experience that they love to repeat over and over again, which significantly boosts retention rates.


eCommerce businesses

4. Strengthening Your Competitiveness

Multilingual customer support could also give you a competitive advantage, helping you stand out from your peers in the market. Because it demonstrates your company’s commitment to delivering a friendly experience that respects your audience’s diversity. 

Shoppers desire customer-centered service where they feel heard and valued, and not everyone offers this. This means that access to multilingual support could be a unique asset that sets you apart from competitors.

Check these numbers to know how the quality of your customer support can help you stand out in your target market. 

  • 35% of users would switch to a competitor’s product if they offered support in their native tongue.
  • 90% of buyers will spend more with companies that personalize customer service.


61% of consumers choose a competitor after one bad experience, and 76% leave after two negative ones.


eCommerce businesses

Thinking about venturing into the Latin American market?

Discover compelling market insights and learn the key tips for choosing the right localization strategy in our blog post: “eCommerce Localization for Latin America: Join the Second Fastest Growing Market”.

The Challenges of Implementing Multilingual Customer Support

On the surface, expanding customer support into new languages seems a straightforward path to serving more global users. However, what initially appears a simple translation-focused effort soon reveals significant complexities for businesses. While the goal of removing communication barriers is certainly appealing, facilitating support in multiple tongues can still be challenging. 

Dealing With Linguistic Diversity

The challenge of managing and catering to the requirements of your diverse customers always holds many businesses back from implementing customer support across languages. But if you really think about it, you will find that it is all a matter of careful planning. 

What you need to do is to evaluate the precise linguistic needs and priorities of your customer base and conduct in-depth market research to identify the primary languages spoken by the majority of your users.

You need to pay close attention to nuanced differences in regional terminology, dialects, and customer preferences when it comes to support channels. Ask yourself:

  • Does your customer base in the target market prefer chatbots, live chats, or phone calls in different languages?
  • Do your shoppers also use online forms and email support?

According to the insights you gain, you can make informed decisions. You may, for example, need to focus your initial multilingual efforts only on the top 2-3 highest-priority language pairs based on customer volume. 

Resources Allocation And Technical Integration

For businesses that attempt to handle it all in-house, creating a multilingual customer support system becomes a financially and effortlessly exhausting process. 

On one hand, investing in recruitment, training, language tools, and ongoing maintenance can quickly accumulate significant expenses for your business, and it would still be difficult to determine the linguistic competence of the agents you’re hiring when you don’t speak the target language. 

Similarly, integrating automation and translation tools in your platform requires proper expertise and specialized knowledge; otherwise, it can result in errors and inconsistencies that compromise the functionality and user experience of your digital platform, causing all of your efforts and investment to go to waste. 

Maintaining Performance Quality And Efficiency

Implementing multilingual customer services also brings the challenge of regularly maintaining performance standards and consequently customer satisfaction. We all agree that customer support impacts the overall experience of customers, but managing the quality of such support is not easy for many.

Effectively managing support across languages involves complex workflows, and content oversight to ensure consistency and unified tracking of issues, which requires continuous and meticulous coordination between teams. 

You need to monitor performance metrics and evaluate response quality to make sure even the tiniest details, such as paying attention to each locale’s time zones, are taken into consideration to ensure the ultimate satisfaction of your diverse customers.

Speaking of Challenges!

Are you struggling with your multilingual eCommerce website? 

Don’t miss our blog post where we resolve the top 3 localization challenges for eCommerce platforms.

Machine vs Human-Driven Language Solutions for Multilingual Customer Support

When businesses decide to create a multilingual customer support system, they often turn to automated machine translation for its numerous benefits, whether through chatbots, online forms, or email support. However, with all the advantages, several drawbacks still exist necessitating the need for a human touch to complement the limitations of machine language solutions.

So, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of machine and human-driven language solutions for multilingual customer support to help you reach a well-informed decision that best suits your business needs and achieves your intended goals. 

Machine Translation

When businesses go for machine translation, it’s primarily because of its speed and scalability. Automated translation can be available around the clock offering fast responses without the need for a big team of multilingual agents. This time and cost-saving formula is highly sought after in today’s fast-paced world, making it an attractive option for many companies.

Machine translation streamlines workflows, reduces manual tasks, and effectively handles simple, repetitive inquiries. However, despite its advantages, there are limitations that prevent it from being the ultimate solution. These limitations include:

  • Machines fail to grasp cultural sensitivities and references embedded into cross-cultural communication, which might lead to inaccuracies or inappropriate use of language.
  • Automated translation technology still lacks the complex nuances of human language and their responses don’t demonstrate the intent and emotion that customers desire.
  • AI translation tools are limited especially when you depend on them for handling complex support issues that require creative problem-solving.

However, this does not mean that you should abandon automated customer support solutions altogether. They still play a valuable role in creating an effective customer service approach. Instead, the key lies in complementing automation with the human touch to create the perfect blend that personalizes the support offered to customers.

Human Translation

Human-driven language solutions can achieve the perfect balance between accuracy, cultural resonance, and scalability. But now you might be wondering whether you should do it in-house or collaborate with an expert agency. 

Considering the challenges discussed earlier, such as maintaining high-quality performance and overcoming recruitment and assessment challenges, entrusting language expertise to professionals becomes a worthwhile investment that allows you to focus your efforts on other aspects of your business.

  • Partnering with professional eCommerce translation services providers gives you access to a wide network of linguists who can fulfill your multilingual needs with expert solutions from over-the-phone interpretation to translation and localization solutions.
  • Professional translation agencies work with native, in-country teams that have the ability to navigate linguistic and cultural subtleties, allowing them to deliver personalized responses that resonate with your culturally diverse customers. 
  • Expert translators are tech-savvy and well-trained to use effective translation tools and technologies that you can directly integrate into your platform to maximize efficiency and speed.

Worried about the cost? You need to know that:

  • Professional language partners understand budgets vary and have customized pricing models to seamlessly fit within every client’s budget.
  • The quality outcomes you get from professionals produce lifelong loyal customers and consistently drive returns that multiply your initial investment many times over.
  • Adding the human touch can significantly elevate the customer experience and reduce the margin of technical or financial errors and the cost of fixing those mistakes.

The Takeaway: 

The best strategy is to build a hybrid approach with the help of an expert language service provider, combining machine translation capabilities with human expertise to build a well-balanced multilingual support system.

Wanna Learn More about Choosing the Right Language Vendor?

Get our FREE checklist to walk you through the key factors that make an ideal eCommerce language service provider.

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Our translation, localization, and interpreting services are fully available 24/7 to meet all your urgent demands. Request a free quote today, and leave it to the experts!

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